An effective way to enter a Western market for outside companies is often to set up a base from which to launch and expand. This is the entry strategy chosen by the Chinese company Song Labs using Finnish R&D expertise and credibility.
The radiotherapy equipment of Song Labs can be used in the treatment of cancer and was developed by professor Song Shipeng, a leading Chinese scientist in the field. With over 300 devices sold in Asia and new versions under development, Song Labs had been looking for a partner for some time in order to penetrate the medical device market in the West.
In cooperation with the Finnish Health and Well-being Cluster, Invest in Finland invited Song Labs to tour Finland with success: the Chinese company was impressed with the support services for applied physics and clinical research offered by the Kuopio region in the eastern part of Finland.
The Kuopio region is one of the medical technology hubs in Finland with strong emphasis on medical physics and clinical research. The hub offers variety of R&D&I opportunities with the MD companies, University of Eastern Finland, University of Savonia Applied Sciences and University Hospital of Kuopio.
"China has a lot of highly educated people and carries out its own first-rate R&D work. Gaining a foothold in Western markets requires extensive clinical testing and documentation, plus when a Chinese company is establishing itself in a new market, it needs a partner. Finland offered the right mix of synergy benefits and technological expertise to Song Labs," explains Ilpo Kuronen, Programme Director at the Finnish Health and Well-being Cluster, a national platform.
Nordic Radiotherapy Oy, a new owner of the Song Labs’ IPR founded in Kuopio this year, will oversee the commercial rights, as well as manufacturing and testing of the device in Finland. The Chinese R&D team will move to the city of Kuopio.
Nordic Radiotherapy is owned by the Finnish (51%) and Chinese (49%) holding companies and will continue the Song Labs’ work in Finland. As part of the deal, the Finnish party seeks out the investments needed to launch the project and also provides a management team for the company. Chinese will take care of the technology transferring and embarking the IPR into the new company.
As soon as the first investment round is closed, expectedly before end of June 2013, the company starts realising its first actions, i.e. assembling the S09 equipment to be tested in Kuopio headquarters.